Youngsters on Cumbrae have been snubbed by the Scottish Government for a major role in a new islanders' network.

The network enables children and young people to help shape the delivery of the National Islands Plan to ensure that their interests and priorities are properly considered.

Groups from Shetland, Orkney, Lewis & Harris, Uist and Barra, Skye, Mull, Islay, and Arran will be part of the project - but Cumbrae will not have one formed to take part.

Instead Scottish Government chiefs have invited them to 'engage with other groups to be heard

The Scottish Government promotional material says that children and young people from all of Scotland’s 96 inhabited islands will be able to make their voices heard on issues in their communities.

A spokesperson said: “Whilst the anchor organisations supporting the development of the pilot network are likely to be from other islands, the Young Islanders Network seeks to engage with young islanders across all 96 inhabited islands, including Cumbrae.

“It is therefore important that participants from all of our islands are able to contribute. Indeed, we would warmly welcome the participation of young people from Cumbrae.”

The network will give participants the opportunity to build their confidence, develop key skills such as leadership, and build new relationships and friendships with other islanders.

Issues explored will include depopulation and will provide an opportunity for our young islanders to raise the issues that matter to them.

Councillor Alex Gallagher, cabinet member for post-Covid-19 renewal and the islands, says he is concerned by the snub and hopes to reverse the decision.

He said: "I was aware of this proposal by the Scottish Government and was concerned that Cumbrae was not included.

“I have asked officers to explore how we could have Cumbrae more involved in this. Or if we could set up another mechanism to address this need on our local islands."

The Young Islanders Network will meet virtually in line with current coronavirus restrictions. The full cost for delivering the pilot Young Islanders Network will be £28,500.